Encyclopaedia Islamica

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Encyclopaedia Islamica Online is based on the abridged and edited translation of the Persian Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī, one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world. A unique feature of the Encyclopaedia Islamica Online lies in the attention given to Shiʿi Islam and its rich and diverse heritage. In addition to providing entries on important themes, subjects and personages in Islam generally, Encyclopaedia Islamica Online offers the Western reader an opportunity to appreciate the various dimensions of Shiʿi Islam, the Persian contribution to Islamic civilization, and the spiritual dimensions of the Islamic tradition.

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Aaron (prophet)

(5 words)

see Hārūn


(1,167 words)

Author(s): Yadollah Gholami | Translated by Jawad Qasemi
The ʿabāʾ is a long, loose-fitting, outer garment worn over other clothing, sometimes a form of cloak intended for men, but also sometimes worn by women. It is used by Arabs and non-Arabs alike. The ʿabāʾ has been used a variety of ways in different circumstances and variously called ʿabāya, ʿabāʾa, ʿabāh etc. (Dozy, 292). Garments such as the ʿabāʾ were habitually used by every social class but in different ways, depending on circumstance or occasion (Ibn Saʿd, 4/62; al-Masʿūdī, 2/305). The finest ʿabāʾs are woven from camel hair, and come in a light brown, natural shade (Yūs…
Date: 2021-06-17


(2,279 words)

Author(s): Azarnoosh, Azartash | Translated by Farzin Negahban
Abābīl is a Qurʾānic word meaning ‘flocks’ or ‘herds’ (e.g. of birds, horses, camels etc.). This is a rare word in the Arabic language and is only mentioned once in the Qurʾān, in the Sūrat al-Fīl (‘The Elephant’, 105:3): wa arsala ʿalayhim ṭayran abābīl, ‘And He sent against them flights of birds’, and for this reason considerable discussion of the term is found in Qurʾānic commentaries and lexicons. The word seems to have appeared in some verses by the pre-Islamic Arab poets. Imruʾ al-Qays was the first poet to use it, doing so in the phrase abābīlu ṭayrin. Al-Aʿshā, another famous Arab p…
Date: 2021-06-17


(1,108 words)

Author(s): Hassan Ganji, Mohammad | Translated by Hassan Lahouti | Hasan Ganji, Mohammad
Ābādah, a town ( shahr) and a district ( shahristān) in the province ( ustān) of Fārs, Iran.Ābādah (town)The centre of the district of Ābādah, it lies on 52° 39' longitude, 31° 9' latitude, at an altitude of 2005 m (Pāpulī, 31), between two moderately high mountains (Jaʿfarī, 2/3). Its climate is temperate, with cold, windy periods in autumn and winter. Precipitation is low, less than 100 mm ( FJAKI, 82/3).Historical Background: Although Ābāśdah of Iqlīd is not specifically referred to in the old sources on geography, Ābādah, Bardankān and Chāhak, small towns lyin…
Date: 2021-06-17


(3,113 words)

Author(s): Kayvani, Majdoddin | Translated by Farzin Negahban
Ābādān is the name of an island, a district ( shahristān) and a city in south-west Khūzistān, the latter being a province ( ustān) in south-west Iran.EtymologyPrior to the adoption of its present form, which was proposed by the Iranian Acad-emy of Persian Language and Literature ( Farhangistān-i Īrān) and approved by the government in 1314 Sh./1935, this name was written and pronounced as ‘ʿAbbādān’. All former Muslim historians and geographers referred to this region using the earlier spelling and pronunciation. They used ʿAbbādān both for t…
Date: 2021-06-17

Abān b. ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd al-Lāḥiqī

(2,474 words)

Author(s): Azarnoosh, Azartash | Translated by Nacim Pak
Abān b. ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd al-Lāḥiqī (d. 200/816) was a man of letters of Persian origin who wrote poetry in Arabic. His forebear Lāḥiq b. ʿUfayr was a narrator of ḥadīth and a mawlā (client) of the tribe of Banū Raqqāsh. His forefathers lived in Fasā, a city in the province of Fārs (al-Ṣūlī, 40). Their designation as Jews (Fariq, 46), a notion originating with Abū ʿUbayda (al-Ṣūlī, 36; Abū al-Faraj, 23/165), is unfounded. Nothing is known of Abān's childhood. He was probably born in Baṣra which is where he grew up and studied literature, jurisprudence, logic and mathemat…
Date: 2021-06-17

Abān b. Taghlib

(1,535 words)

Author(s): Zia'i, Ali Akbar | Translated by Farzin Negahban
Abān b. Taghlib, Abū Saʿīd b. Rabāḥ al-Bakrī al-Jurayrī al-Kindī al-Rabaʿī al-Kūfī (d. 141/758) was a man of letters, Qurʾān reciter, jurist, Qurʾānic commentator and well-known Shiʿi traditionist (al-Najāshī 7–8). Most sources give his name as Abū Saʿīd, while some use Abū Saʿd (al-Mizzī, 2/6; al-Ṣafadī 5/300) or Ibn Saʿīd (al-Ḥillī, 12). Other sources give the name Abū Umayma (al-Suyūṭī 1/404, quoting al-Dānī; Ibn al-Jazarī, 1/4). He was called al-Jurayrī because he was a mawlā (client) of the Banū Jurayr b. ʿUbāda, while his other nisba, al-Bakrī, refers to Bakr b. Wāʾil, a f…
Date: 2021-06-17

Abāqā Khān

(9,477 words)

Author(s): Zaryab, Abbas | Translated by Jawad Qasemi
Abāqā Khān, also known as Abqā Khān or according to Arab historians Abghā, was the second of the Mongol Īlkhāns, who ruled Persia in the 7th/13th and 8th/14th centuries, and the eldest son of Hūlāgū Khān. He was born in Jumādā I 631/February 1234 and ascended the throne on 3 Ramaḍān 663/19 June 1265 (Rashīd al-Dīn, ed. ʿAlī Zādah, 3/95). Abāqā was in Māzandarān when Hūlāgū died on 19 Rabīʿ II 663/8 February 1265 near the River Jaghātū (now also called the Zarrīnarūd) in the vicinity of Marāgha. As was common Mongol practice, the emirs immediately ordered…
Date: 2021-06-17


(2,240 words)

Author(s): Rafi`i, Ali | Translated by Farzin Negahban
Abarqūh or Abarkūh is an old town in Fārs that today is the centre of the district also called Abarkūh, in the province of Ābādah. It is 72 km from Ābādah, 216 from Yazd and 299 from Shīrāz.Historical backgroundAlthough there is no precise information as to when Abarqūh was built, it can be inferred from geographical and historical sources that the city was already in existence in the pre-Islamic period. Some sources refer to the existence of this city during the reign of Kay Kāwūs (the second Kiyānid ruler) and Siyāwūsh (Yāqūt 1/70…
Date: 2021-06-17


(733 words)

Author(s): Muti`, Mahdi | Translated by Farzin Negahban
ʿAbasa (‘He Frowned’), sūra (Chapter) eighty of the Qurʾān, a sūra that was revealed in Mecca. It is generally held to consist of forty-two verses and four rukūʿs (subdivisions within a sūra). This chapter was revealed after the Sūrat al-Najm (‘The Star’) and is also known by other names, such as al-Safara (‘The Scribes’), al-Ṣākhkha (‘The Deafening Noise’ or ‘The Blast’) and al-Aʿmā (‘The Blind Man’) (al-Sijistānī, 501, al-Ālūsī, 30/39). The opening verses of this sūra (1–10) recount the story of a blind man approaching the Prophet and requesting to be taught about th…
Date: 2021-06-17


(1,219 words)

Author(s): Shi`ar, Ja`far | Sadeq Sajjadi | Translated by John Cooper
Ābaskūn or Ābuskūn, or Ābiskūn or Abaskūn, an island or an ancient port on the southeast of the Caspian Sea and northwest of Astarābād at the mouth of the Gurgān river, at 79° 45’ eastern longtitude and 37° 10' northern latitude, as calculated by the classical geographers (Abū al-Fidāʾ, 36; Wuthūq Zamānī, 29, quoting from Khwāja Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī). Despite this, its exact location is now unknown. It has been suggested that Ābaskūn was situated on the site of the present-day village of Khwāja Nifis or on the Āshūrādih islands; or its whereabouts are connected to the Sokānda …
Date: 2021-06-17

Al-ʿAbbādī, Abū ʿĀṣim

(1,689 words)

Author(s): Faramarz Haj Manouchehri | Translated by Rahim Gholami
Al-ʿAbbādī, Abū ʿĀṣim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbbād (d. Shawwāl 458/September 1066), was a Shāfiʿī qāḍī from Herat and the author of the first ṭabaqāt (a biographical dictionary arranged by generations) about Shāfiʿī fuqahāʾ (jurists). He also figured prominently in the intellectual confrontations between the Shāfiʿīs and the Ḥanafīs. The title ‘al-ʿAbbādī’ was derived from a forebear some five generations earlier, ʿAbbād (al-Samʿānī, 4/123). It would appear that the ʿAbbādī family were included among the dignitaries of Hera…
Date: 2021-06-17


(4,581 words)

Author(s): Manouchehr Pezeshk | Translated by Farzin Negahban
ʿAbbādids (Banū ʿAbbād), a dynasty of Muslim rulers in al-Andalus (414–484/1023–1091) who were the most powerful of the group of mulūk al-ṭawāʾif/los reyes de taifas (party kings) and who ruled over important parts of south-western Spain as the Umayyad caliphate of Córdoba collapsed. The beginning of the 5th/11th century saw important changes in Spain, the disintegration of Umayyad rule, the emergence of petty kings in the regions of the Christian controlled north, and then the coming to power of a host of greater or lesser Muslim rulers…
Date: 2021-06-17

ʿAbbādī, Muẓaffar

(2,152 words)

Author(s): Javad Shams, Mohammad | Translated by Farzin Negahban
ʿAbbādī, Muẓaffar, Quṭb al-Dīn Amīr Abū Manṣūr Muẓaffar ʿAbbādī, the son of Ardashīr Abū Manṣūr ʿAbbādī Marwazī (d. 547/1152), was an ascetic, a traditionist, and a well-known orator and preacher from Khurāsān, who wrote works with Sufi tendencies. He is referred to by such titles as ‘Amīr-i Imām’ (the emir who is also the imam), ‘Amīr-i ʿĀlam’ (ruler of the world), ‘Wāʿiẓ-i Kabīr’ (the great preacher), ‘ʿAllāma-yi Rūzgār wa Khwāja-yi Maʿnī wa Sulṭān-i Sukhan’ (learned scholar of the time and the lord of spiritual meaning and the sultan of discourse) and ‘Quṭb ʿA…
Date: 2021-06-17

ʿAbbāsa (a city in eastern Egypt)

(1,260 words)

Author(s): Mohammad Reza Naji | Translated by Hassan Lahouti
ʿAbbāsa was a city in eastern Egypt in the Islamic period, 15 farsangs (90 km) from Cairo. It was situated at the farthest habitable point in this part of eastern Egypt, on the road to Greater Syria (al-Shām) between Bilbays and al-Ṣāliḥiyya, and was considered a part of Wādī al-Sadīr (Abū al-Fidāʾ, 108; al-Maqrīzī, al-Khiṭaṭ, 1/232). The foundation of the city is ascribed to ʿAbbāsa (q.v.), daughter of Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn. When Khumārawayh b. Aḥmad married his daughter, Qaṭr al-Nadā, to the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Muʿtaḍid, the bride set out for Iraq escorted…
Date: 2021-06-17

ʿAbbāsa (a woman of the ʿAbbāsid court)

(1,238 words)

Author(s): Sadeq Sajjadi | Translated by Hassan Lahouti
ʿAbbāsa was a famous woman of the ʿAbbāsid court. She was a daughter of the caliph al-Mahdī and a sister of Hārūn al-Rashīd and al-Hādī. Nothing is known of ʿAbbāsa's life, as with most other women in medieval Muslim courts, and her fame stems from a story concerning her and Jaʿfar al-Barmakī—a story which purports to explain the murder of Jaʿfar and the overthrow of the Barmakids by Hārūn al-Rashīd. According to this story, which has been reported at length and in great detail by some sources, …
Date: 2021-06-17

Al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib

(2,473 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Translated by Jawad Qasemi
Al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib, with the kunya Abū al-Faḍl (d. Rajab or Ramaḍān 32/February or April 653), was the Prophet's paternal uncle and the progenitor of the ʿAbbāsids. He was a son of ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib and grandson of Hāshim b. ʿAbd Manāf. His mother, Nutayla bint Janāb b. Kulayb, came from the tribe of Banū Taym Allāh (Ibn al-Kalbī, 28; Ibn Hishām, 1/114; Ibn Saʿd, 4/5). According to a well-known report, he was born three years before the ‘Year of the Elephant’ ( ʿām al-fīl) (al-Wāqidī, 1/70; Ibn Saʿd, 4/5; al-Balādhurī, Ansāb, 3/1). The responsibility for siqāya, providing drinkin…
Date: 2021-06-17

ʿAbbās b. Abī al-Futūḥ

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Sadeq Sajjadi | Translated by Hassan Lahouti
ʿAbbās b. Abī al-Futūḥ, al-Afḍal Rukn al-Dīn of the Zīrids, a vizier of the Fāṭimids from 548 to 549/1153 to 1154. He was originally a prince of the family of Ibn Bādīs al-Ṣanhājī (of Banū Zīrī), who had been governors of Ifrīqiya in the 6th/12th century. As a result of conflicts within the family, his father Abū al-Futūḥ was expelled from Ifrīqiya in 509/1115 by his brother ʿAlī b. Yaḥyā, and he was forced to go with his wife Bullāra and his young son ʿAbbās to Alexandria, where they were warmly a…
Date: 2021-06-17

Al-ʿAbbās b. al-Aḥnaf

(2,364 words)

Author(s): Azarnoosh, Azartash | Translated by Farzin Negahban
Al-ʿAbbās b. al-Aḥnaf, Abū al-Faḍl, renowned ʿAbbāsid poet, was from the Banū Ḥanīfa tribe of Yamāma. Some sources regard him or his family line as deriving from the Arabs settled in Khurāsān (Abū al-Faraj, 8/353, citing al-Akhfash); but they add that he was brought up in Baghdad (Abū al-Faraj, 8/353; see also Ibn al-Muʿtazz, 254; Ibn Qutayba, 707; Hell, 273). The biography written by Abū Bakr al-Ṣūlī (Ibn al-Nadīm, 215) is unfortunately no longer available, although a significant portion of it is copied in Abū al-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī's al-Aghānī. At present what is known of Ibn al-A…
Date: 2021-06-17

Al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAlī

(4,293 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Ali A. Bulookbashi | Translated by Farzin Negahban
1. Historical BackgroundAbū al-Faḍl al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAlī (killed in the massacre at Karbalāʾ on 10 Muḥarram 61/10 October 680), known as ‘ Qamar Banī Hāshim’ (‘Moon of the Banū Hāshim’), was a famous son of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, and half-brother of al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī.His mother, Umm al-Banīn (see Abū Naṣr al-Bukhārī, 88, where she is given the name Fāṭima), the daughter of Ḥizām b. Khālid b. Rābīʿa from the Arab tribe of Banū Kilāb, was the mother of three more of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib's sons, and for this reason she became known as Umm al-Banīn (‘m…
Date: 2021-06-17
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